It Still Runs is the go-to destination for all things cars. From motors to radiators and everything in between, we've got you covered.


How to Replace the Water Pump in a Toyota Highlander

by Contributor

The water pump is the heart of the Toyota Highlander's cooling system, circulating the coolant. Make sure to change out a faulty water pump, which can cause the engine to overheat resulting in serious damage.

Remove the Water Pump

Step 1

Disconnect the negative cable on the car battery before you begin.

Step 2

Place a drain pan underneath the radiator. When the engine is cool, drain the cooling system from the radiator into the pan.

Step 3

Take out the alternator.

Step 4

Loosen the water pump pulley bolts and take out the water pump pulley.

Remove the water pump from the engine.

Install the Water Pump

Step 1

Insert and install the new water pump, tightening the bolts to 80 inch pounds.

Step 2

Reinsert the water pump pulley, making sure to tighten the bolts to 19 foot pounds.

Step 3

Reinstall the vehicle's alternator.

Refill the cooling system with coolant to the proper levels. Start the engine and check for leaks when the engine reaches normal operating temperatures.


  • Loud noises coming from the cooling system could be a sign that your water pump needs replacing. A leak in the coolant may also be an indicator. You can expect that a water pump will need changed every 70,000 to 100,000 miles or so in a Toyota vehicle.
  • Disconnecting the negative battery cable may reset the on-board computer system or parts of the computer system, so be aware that you may have to reset certain settings.


  • Never attempt to drain the radiator when the engine is hot. The steam and the hot coolant within the radiator can cause serious burns.

More Articles